Bacon Wrapped Shrimp Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers and Chicken Breasts

August 16th, 2010 by katie

Is there a better combination than jalapenos, cheese, and bacon?  I love to make jalapeno poppers as a snack or party appetizer, but I generally try to avoid sitting down by myself and eating a plateful of them.  So, how does a girl get her fix when there isn’t a big game on or friends coming over to celebrate?  Add some chicken and shrimp and call it dinner instead.  (Although if you do make these for a party your guests will love you forever.)

Both of these dishes require some prep work but there is nothing hard about this meal.  The chicken breasts are great to make for a mixed crowd since you can stuff them with any filling you like. 

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno and Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

makes 6, prep 30 minutes, cook 10-15 minutes
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (approx 1.5-2lbs)
  • 6 oz Monterrey Jack cheese or other soft melting cheese, sliced into 6 sticks
  • 3 jalapenos, de-seeded and cut into strips
  • 12 regular strips fatty bacon (not center-cut or thick sliced)
  • tooth picks
  1. Prepare your grill for medium heat.  Sorry non-grill folks, you can try making these in the oven but they just don’t turn out as nicely.
  2. Trim all fat from each chicken breast, keeping the breast intact (will look sort-of like a lop-sided heart). 
  3. Place the breast in a large plastic zip-top bag and use a flat mallet or the bottom of a heavy bottle to pound the breast into an even thickness.  Don’t pound it too hard or with any point because you want to keep the flesh intact.
  4. Once the breast is fairly flat and even, and fairly large, cut it into two roughly equal sized vaguely rectangular shaped pieces.  Return one of the pieces to the bag and gently pound it out as thin as you can without breaking through the flesh. Repeat with the other piece and then the remaining breasts until you have six flat, thin, roughly rectangular chicken pieces.
  5. Place one piece of chicken on your work surface and top with a piece of cheese and about half of a jalapeno. 
  6. Roll the chicken up and then starting at one end wrap it tightly with a piece of bacon, stretching and overlapping slightly as you go, you will need two pieces per chicken roll. Be generous at the ends so there will be a small barrier to keep the cheese in the roll.  Secure bacon with tooth picks and set aside.  Repeat.
  7. Grill chicken until bacon is crisp and browned all over, turning as needed. The bacon fat will melt off and some cheese may melt out so watch for flare-ups.

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp and Cheese Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

makes 12, prep 30-40 minutes, cook 10 minutes
  • 12 fresh jalapenos, the largest you can find
  • 12 fresh, jumbo sized shrimp, shells off, de-veined
  • 12 oz Monterrey Jack cheese or other soft melting cheese, sliced into 12 sticks
  • 12 strips regular fatty bacon (not center cut or thick sliced)
  • tooth picks
  1. Prepare your grill for medium heat.  Sorry non-grill folks, you can try making these in the oven but they just don’t turn out as nicely.
  2. Wearing gloves, slice the jalapenos lengthwise without breaking all the way through.  Make small cuts at the stem and tip so that you can open up the jalapeno without breaking it up too much. 
  3. Use a small paring knife or spoon to scrape out all of the inside seeds and membranes.  Clean them out really well unless you like a super hot popper. 
  4. Insert a stick of cheese into the pepper.  Next wedge as much of the shrimp into the jalapeno as possible with the tail end sticking out.  Depending on the size of your shrimp and the size of your jalapenos this might be easy or hard.  If there is not enough room just get as much of the shrimp in as you can.  The bacon wrapping will hold them together.
  5. Wrap the shrimp and jalapeno tightly with a strip of bacon, stretching and overlapping slightly as you go.  Secure the bacon with a toothpick.  Repeat.
  6. Grill poppers until bacon is crisp and browned all over, turning as needed. The bacon fat will melt off and some cheese may melt out so watch for flare-ups.

Now a word of warning about working with hot peppers.  Seriously.  I have cut many many jalapenos in my life and never really worried about wearing gloves.  I didn’t overly handle the seeds or membranes with my fingers and was careful not to touch my nose or eyes, but I did it all bare-handed.  That said, I ended the night I made the meal above in the most excruciating pain I have known in recent memory.  I don’t know why it was different this time but I will never cut hot peppers again without gloves.  Never.   For anyone who is wondering I tried everything to make the burning stop: soap, degreaser, lemon juice, baking soda, rubbing alcohol, vegetable oil, butter, milk, tums, and Maalox.  The only thing that provided even a modicum of relief was holding bags of frozen vegetables in my bare hands and even that was spotty.  My hands burned intensely for about 12 hours and then off and on for the next twenty four hours.  Never again.  I love jalapenos and still do, but I will use gloves from now on when working with them.  Thump your nose at my warning if you wish, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Posted in Main Dish, Snacks/Appetizers

10 Responses

  1. Rachel (Two Healthy Plates)

    My husband would go crazy for these! This seems like a great recipe to entertain with, I’ll have to come back for it next time we have guests!

  2. Sneh Roy

    Jalapenos, cheese and bacon .. wow, that sounds exciting. These look absolutely delish!

  3. Barb

    I had this problem once with hot peppers and tried mustard, it worked great!

  4. Kim

    YUM!! I make stuffed, bacon wrapped shrimp a lot, but I cut the jalapeno into strips and stuff them into the shrimp, along with grated cheese. I’m going to try it your way next time… sounds easier!! Thanks!

  5. RAKoon

    My friend mixes Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Seasoning Salt (Lawreys), Paprika and Pepper then coats the chicken in a ziploc bag before putting into the pepper. Makes these even better! Be sure to use the “Powder” on the 1st two ingredients or too salty.

  6. Amy

    I’m wondering how I would cook this in the oven..although we grill year round, right now it is especially cold here in NJ. Do you coat the chicken with anything first or just the flavor of the bacon?

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  9. Grilled Shrimp Jalapeno Poppers - Food Recipe

    [...] Bacon wrapped shrimp stuffed jalapeno poppers and chicken Is there a better combination than jalapenos, cheese, and bacon? i love to make jalapeno poppers as a snack or party appetizer, but i generally try to avoid sitting. None found. Meet The Author : tdnams [...]

  10. Grilled Shrimp Jalapeno Bacon - Food Recipe

    [...] Bacon wrapped shrimp stuffed jalapeno poppers and chicken Is there a better combination than jalapenos, cheese, and bacon? i love to make jalapeno poppers as a snack or party appetizer, but i generally try to avoid sitting. None found. Meet The Author : tdnams [...]

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